Summer Reading American colonies by Alan Taylor

Middle Colonies Geography
– Great harbor
– low hills
– long growing season
– fertile soil
Middle Colonies Effects of its Geography
– The Swedish and the Dutch (also the English thrive in this area because it is similar to their homelands
Middle Colonies Government
– Proprietary system: A proprietary colony is a colony in which one or more private land owners retain rights that are normally the privilege of the state, and in all cases eventually became so.
-In Britain, the King repeatedly granted territory to an individual or a small group, rather than to a chartered company. The men who received these, called proprietors, or sometimes “Lords Proprietors”, were invested not only with property under private law but also with gubernatorial authority to administer it with extraordinary control.
-The method was most notably used during the early colonization along the Atlantic coasts of North America and the Caribbean by Great Britain. Most were run under a colonial charter agreement, which is reviewed by the ruling Monarch. A good example is the Province of Pennsylvania, granted to William Penn.
-This type of indirect rule eventually fell out of favor as the English Sovereigns sought to concentrate their power and authority, and the colonies were converted to crown colonies, i.e. governed by officials appointed by the King.DUTCH: Religious tolerance, not a republic.

Middle Colonies Effects of their Government
Many diverse ethnicities were found in the Middle Colonies and this caused disagreements between the normal hierarchical positions.
Middle Colonies religion
DUTCH: reformed Church, religious tolerance
PENNSYLVANIA: Quaker, a form of Protestant.
QUAKERS: were farmers, didn’t like wealth and were hard workers.
Effects of Religion in Middle colonies
A more equal ditribution of land & wealth
Middle Colonies economy
PENNSYLVANIA = livestock & grain (sent to West Indies)
Middle Economies effects of their economy
-trade with natives, depend on Natives for trade
-B/c the Dutch compete w/ English trade in the West Indies, the British pass navigation acts: English colonies can only ship to England w/ English ships.
-England conquers New Netherlands
Carolina Geography
-broad, low hills
-fertile plains
-large rivers, muddy
-broad swamps
-Good harbor
Carolina effects of Geography
Godd harbor = trade
-perfect conditions for rice
-lots of labor needed for plantations => African slaves brought in
-Lots of disease partly b/c of mosquitoes
Carolina Government
-Lords Proprietors: give power to Great Plabters by awarding land for the head count of slaves
-Wealthy planters ruled
-Carolina elite did not like the Lords Proprietors and saw them as meddlesome
-Carolina elite wanted direct rule to assure military protection in case Africans revolted => Crown takes control
Carolina Gov’t Effects
b/c White planters take control unfair conditions are placed on Africans by passing absolute power over Africans by owners
Carolina religion
Church of England ( Anglican Church)
Carolina Economics

1st: timber, livestock

2nd: tar rice & indigo

Georgia: hemp, flax, mulberry, grapes

Carolina Economics Effects
b/c Georgia outlawing slavery was not profitable, the products they are making/want to make require heavy labor which turned the white planter to African slaves, fueling a massive slave trade
New England Geography
-dense forest
-no grass
New England Effects of Geography
Geography similar to Englands
not appealing to England for imports (has little of value there)
New Englands products are sent to the West Indies instead
New England Government
Royal Charter = In Rhode Island they recieved gerater autonomy from the royal charter of 1663 + religious freedom
Royal charter = Massachusetts Bay Company becomes self-governing colony
1st Republic: Puritan men elected governor, deputy governor & legislature
New England Government Effects
Produced compact settlements that depended on the local gov’t
Mostly “middling people”
More equality, opportunity & education b/c the gap between rich and poor was smaller
Equal Land distribution
New England Religion
PURITANISM – honor God, seek rewards that offered reassurance, hard workers, discipline.
Came from all ranks of English Society
Puritans flee from England b/c they don’t want Catholics, just Protestants
New England Effects of Religion
They developed a culture that was entrepreneurial and very pious in Anglo-America
Fanatics: Salem witch trials, punish sinners & dissidents, many death penalties
Puritans: stable families => Stable Society
New England Economy
LITTLE TRADE WITH ENGLAND b/c England has the same crops
No slaves b/c they rely on their family for labor
There was an economic depression when people stopped coming after the Great Migration ended
-Fishing trade
-No cash crops
-traded with the West Indies
-*** New England freedom depended on West Indian slavery***
*Ship building
New England Effects of Economy
b/c New England was so alike to England, New England became a threat to the Mothercountry
England tries to discourage New England trade by forcing New England to only trade w/ England using English ships.
New England does not like England
England does not like New England
American Colonies Cons?
there was a misconception that the American colonists were better off in the colonies. Many failed to prosper, many died, lots of exploitation (indentured servants & slaves)
Most were unfree
Hostile relations with Native Americans
Racism in the colonies
Whites united across social status & class
work became synonymous with slavery
Racism how it began
More whites for the common white man
fear of slave revolts
White solidarity = more rights
Race determines social status
Originally was not that racist but it eventually developed to be so
Virginia/Chesapeake Geography
swamp, rivers
-brackish wells (salt poisoning)
close to trade, trade networks/ harbors, rivers
woods, lumber, trees
Longer growing season
Virginia/Chesapeake Effects of Geography
High mortality rate ( different climate from England, salt poisoning, intense labor, spread of disease)
Tobacco = wealth
virginia/Chesapeake Government
Royal Proprietary Colony =
planters, elites, governors,
Local gov’t held trials & collected taxes, also maintained & infrastructure, militia
1. King/Parliament
2. Provincial Gov’t
3. Parish vestry
4. families/little commonwealths
Virginia/Chesapeake Effects of Gov’t
Power and wealth concentrated @ the top
they manipulate the law
V/C Religion
Virginia- Protestant
-religious toleration (did it to attract colonists)
Chesapeake – Anglican
Church of England, therefore recieved funding and taxes
V/C effects of religion
People believed that social order & stability depended upon a joint STATE + CHURCH because that would link political obedience with religious devotion
V/C Economics
1st = Mined for gold and grew corn. Nothing big, just subsistence/self-sustaining
2nd = discovered TOBACCO, increase in indentured servants + they give away land for free! Whoohoo!
V/C effects of economics
They got rich/richer
Their economy fluctuated with their exports of Tobacco (S x D)
Larger class distinction betw. rich & poor
promoted greater cooperation accross denominational lines between evangelicals in different churches
There was much controversy between the Old Lights & NEw Lights
also radicals vs. moderates
RADICALS: experimental religion
Experimental religion
Evangelicalism is a Protestant Christian theological stream which began in Great Britain in the 1730s.[1] Its key theological beliefs are:
A belief in the need for personal conversion (or being “born again”)
Actively expressing and sharing the gospel
A high regard for biblical authority, especially Biblical inerrancy
An emphasis on teachings that proclaim the death and resurrection of Jesus.
Fundamental Orders of Connecticut

The Fundamental Orders were adopted by the Connecticut Colony council on January 14, 1638/39 OS (January 24, 1639 NS).[1][2] The orders describe the government set up by the Connecticut River towns, setting its structure and powers.

It has the features of a written constitution, and is considered by some as the first written Constitution in the Western tradition,[3] and thus earned Connecticut its nickname of The Constitution State. John Fiske, a Connecticut historian, was the first to claim that the Fundamental Orders were the first written Constitution, a claim disputed by some modern historians.[4] The orders were transcribed into the official colony records by the colony’s secretary Thomas Welles. It was a Constitution for the colonial government of Hartford and was similar to the government Massachusetts had set up. However, this Order gave men more voting rights and opened up more men to be able to run for office positions.

Great Awakening also defied the accepted social order because it taught that all individuals were equal at the moment of worship
Rebellion shaping Colonial Society
– Rebellions by common whites grant more freedoms to common whites
– Carolinas: slave rebellions resulted in their owners putting up more restrictions and punishments
-White elites distracted the common whites from rebelling by uniting whites racially
ex. Whites fight together against the Indians
Jamestown/ Virginia
Tough beginning
-began consuming a lot of English products
-tobacco was a staple crop that replaced an import, which improved England’s balance of trade
Mercantilism ^ ?
Massachusetts Bay/ Chesapeake
Absorbed thousands of England’s poor and the useless people and “put them to good use” in cultivating/planting etc.
New England/ Massachusetts Bay
Religious tolerance sort of (for Puritans)
worked hard to support themselves – Puritan work ethic
nearly universal education & public worship
Black vs. White Opportunity
Originally Africans/ African Americans had more rights and social mobility
eventually whites were united racially b/c of elites’ fear of a slave revolt- needed to oppress slaves and take away their freedom
Slave revolts took away more priviledges + punishments
blacks could not vote, sometimes were not allowed to own property
whites had economic, social and political opportunities, Blacks did not.

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